The Ladder is back up and running (indeed the first game of the season has already been played…curse you, James Hutchinson). Open to all IGA members, the Ladder tournament runs from January to the end of November. The basic idea is simple – the players in the tournament are arranged in a ladder based on the finishing positions from last year (new entrants start at the bottom). You can challenge anyone who is no more than five rungs above in the ladder and if you win the game, you take their place, pushing them (and anyone below them) down a place. If you go an entire calendar month without playing a game, you drop a rung. The result is a constant scramble to keep your position. The games are played across the board or online to generous time limits, making for a lot of very hard-fought, high quality games. At the end of November the player in first place claims the title – Cao Tong-Yu has won both years since the ladder was introduced. In addition, four places in the following year’s Top 8 are available to the top finishers.
The current state of the ladder can be seen on the main ladder page, and you’ll also find the full rules there. If you’d like to sign up, email the Ladder Committee (Ian, Eoghan, Rory). If you played in the Ladder last year, you keep your old position if you sign up before the end of January – otherwise you can sign up at any time during the year but start at the bottom as though you were a new entrant.